These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Shore-Leave is a fundamentalist Christian who believes that praying is more effective than jumping into the water and helping a friend in need.
"The power of prayer can move mountains, Hank!"
Otto Aquarius. Jehovah's Witnesses get the treatment they usually get in American pop culture. He has some pamphlets if you're interested. That said, in spite of the Jehovah's Witnesses jokes, he's one of the few members of the original Team Venture who's not a total jackass.
There's a good argument that the real star of the show is Rusty and not his sons since most of the episodes revolve around him or his actions . There's also the notion that the show itself is one ongoing alternative take on Jonny Quest itself.
"This isn't all about you, Hank: these kids are here to see Rusty Venture. Maybe when there's a cartoon called 'The Venture Brothers', it'll be different!"
The sheer jackassery of Rusty Venture has caused some people to believe he is a Villain Protagonist. Dr. Killinger believed this as well and tried to help him become an Evil Scientist. The episode in question ends with Rusty, while rejecting Killinger, earnestly asking Brock about whether or not he's a bad guy and Brock being reluctant to answer. Although there's an alternate interpretation there since Rusty was kind of naked at the time.
It's also entirely possible that Dr. Killinger gave Rusty that Heel Realization simply SO he would back away from it. Dr. Killinger seems to be the least villainous villain in the series (Much more of a morally ambivalent self-help guru who wants to help people achieve their potential, regardless of what it is) so it's within reason that Killinger wanted to help stop Rusty's slow slide into villainy. It doesn't work.
Deleted scenes from the Team Venture reunion episode portray him as a Jehovah's Witness.
Both the boys are subject to this, but as of season 4 its particularly applicable to Hank. The Load? Or a serious case of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass whose constantly held back because everyone underestimates him, and refuses to give him any degree of responsibility.
Archive Panic: There are only 5 seasons so far, but so many characters undergo so much development, and so many changes happen to everyone, that starting to watch the show in its latest episodes and understanding what's going on will prove nigh impossible.
Continuity Lockout plays into this. The creators even discussed how self-referential the show had become in the commentary for the season 4 finale Operation P.R.O.M.
Ass Pull: Some viewers found the "twist" that Col. Hunter Gathers only had a sex change for the purpose of gaining membership into Molotov Cocktease's all-girl hitman squad and quickly had said surgery reversed when Molotov began to suspect that he was spying on her pulls the rug out from under a once well-treated transsexual character by making him a man that only did it for the mission. Of course, these viewers failed to notice that: #1, Gathers was originally portrayed as having had the sex change to exploit an antiquated OSI loophole about not killing women so he could safely defect, and #2, Gathers really misses being a woman (Especially his breasts) now.
Better on DVD: When the episodes are watched all-together, the jokes layer on top of each other, the epic stuff gets more epic, and the "aren't we pathetic" stuff gets time to breathe. Additionally, watching on DVD allows viewers to have a better chance of catching the Brick Jokes, and the creator commentary fleshes out several details that fell through the cracks of the show's "show-don't-tell" storytelling.
Monarch's little...tribute to his Butterglider serves no other purpose than to show how deeply in love he is with the thing.
A great example is the Bear in "Bright Lights, Dean City". During the Revenge Society's recruitment drive a man in a very creepy bear suit that shows no features of the person within at all and looks scarily realistic shows up. He has no registration forms, says no lines, is soaked in blood and carries a large knife with blood dripping off it. He is never mentioned again and was presumably just there to make us wet our pants (and to make a movie reference.)
The late 24 calling upon the spirits of Speedy and Woodrow Wilson (no, seriously) during Pinstripes And Poltergeists. And what is 21 supposed to do for them? Showing off his ability to recall celebrity signature perfumes.
The Chris Carter Effect: Avoided. The writers have stated that they don't plan anything, but they're usually pretty good at introducing and then tying up plot points. They've described their writing style as coming up with stuff on the fly, then writing future plots to remain consistent with what has been written while expanding on any detail that looks interesting.
Most of the show's cast, but special mention goes to Phantom Limb, or should I say...REVENGE!!!
General Treister launched himself into space, wearing an American flag as a toga, frozen in a salute with gritted teeth and a post-it note stuck to his external pacemaker that says Fix It. What do you think?
Orpheus' Master takes on the form of Santa Claus and uses a Spirit Bomb to nuke a zombie outbreak to kingdom come.
The Monarch finally telling off those creepy little Murderous Moppets in Season Four and scaring the dog squeeze out of them with his threats.
Rusty got one where, after working with his fellow ex-boy adventurers to track down their therapist's killer, realizes that for all the crap he went through due to his dad, he's been doing far better than them.
At the beginning of season four, after prolonged absence, Hank sees Brock, he hugs him and says, "Why did you leave me?" Brock replies, "Hank, I'll never leave you."
Dean to Triana: "Can we talk?"
Rusty Venture's attitude to Dean in season 4, probably as a result of his inability to bring his sons back to life any longer in the event of their likely deaths, seems genuinely fatherly at times. His attempts, however misguided, to help Dean with his superscience career in "Perchance To Dean," and particularly in "The Revenge Society" when the two of them are locked in the Panic Room and Rusty helps Dean get over his fears, are surprisingly genuine examples of Rusty's caring for his sons. Even Hank's rebellion against his father's "strict rules" is indicative of the fact that Rusty is trying to keep him safe—although it would be a betrayal of Dr. Venture's character to portray his inability to connect with Hank on an emotional level as anything but cynical irritation. He's not even dragging them into dangerous adventures anymore.
The season 4 mid-season finale when S.P.H.I.N.X members are listing the grievances they've suffered to further their goals. Most are petty or insane, but Brock's biggest sacrifice? "Living next to the boys for a year and not being able to tell them that they're safe".
In season 4 “The Better Man”, Jefferson Twilight’s childlike joy at his new-found magical powers is really quite touching.
In "Every Which Way But Zeus" Rusty explains his apparent favoritism of Dean over Hank, Turns out it's not favoritism at all, He's actively trying to protect Hank and steer him away from the life they lead because he reminds Rusty of himself. He feels that Dean can handle it because "he believes this crap!" and thinks he's a better successor to the legacy of Jonas Sr. than Rusty himself.
When Hank and Dean let Dermott in on their "Go Team Venture!" in the season 4 finale, despite the fact that none of them know he's actually their half-brother.
Rusty and Billy bonding on their adventure to find the Orb in the ep ORB. Remembering that Billy always idolized Rusty and wanted to be an adventurer when he grew up helps reinforces this.
Triana's friend Kim appears in two episodes, one of which she was featured in, the other she had all of a minute of screen time with no lines. May have something to do with her attitude, her potential to become a supervillain, and her possible ships with the boys and Dermott. Fans have been requesting a return ever since.
Hank asks Triana about her in the season 4 finale, after having trouble finding a prom date. She says that she's become a born-again Christian and currently lives in Florida. So she's probably not going to show up again anytime soon.
The Grand Galactic Inquisitor, definitely . IGNORE ME!
Fetish Fuel: Dr. Girlfriend/Mrs. The Monarch - inspiring a love for manly voices in many fans.
Triana's mom and Dr. Orpheus' Ex-Wife, as shown by the Master, is exceedingly hot.
Foe Yay: The Monarch's obsessive hatred for Doctor Venture has recently hit very weird levels... like his having sex with a robot that has Venture's face.
Well, he was trying to give it chlamydia.
He taunted Captain Sunshine with a Hannibal Lecture in which he claimed, at length, that Sunshine would really enjoy having sex with him.
Also, when Dr. Girlfriend seduced Rusty for him, he looked like he was about to masturbate while watching the proceedings. The only other time he watched Dr. Girlfriend have sex with someone else just ended up... awkwardly.
Dr. Henry Killinger(in the form of Dr. Venture's father's penis): This is the moment your feelings of inadequacy first manifested themselves! When your father turned from role model to tormentor/rival! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?!
There's also Jonas, Jr.'s "late 60's Ultra Death Ray." It's shaped like a penis and every man in the room wants to have a go with it.
"If that thing were a woman, I'd marry it." "And I'd jeopardize our friendship by nailing your hot wife."
Jonas Sr.'s drill tank from "What Goes Down Must Come Up" merits a number of penis jokes as it's clearly built for penetration.
Brock and Lieutenant Baldavitch turn the docking procedure of a spacecraft into one long act of foreplay. Dr. Venture is unamused.
The entirety of "Assisted Suicide": Pete-Thanatos and Billy-Eros, various versions of Rusty as Id, Ego and Superego, the "invisible harem" helping fix Rusty's "little boy," (not to mention Rusty's Id apparently shipping Billy/Pete) Brock and Hatred fighting over how to handle Dean's "problem," with one father figure humiliatingly spraying his naked ass with a hose but at least taking the initiative, while the other thinks it's too harsh, but doesn't come up with any other solution, standing there uselessly, until the actual father finally arrives and sorts things out...there are too many in this episode to list.
"Well put, Count Freud."
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "The Lepidopterists," 21 and 24 spend the episode lampshading their borderline-unnatural tendency to escape certain death, predicting that the well-prepared and evidently competent "Henchman #1" won't even last the mission (he doesn't). Only three episodes later, 24 is suddenly Killed Off for Real. And to add insult to injury, Scott Hall, a.k.a Henchman #1, a.k.a Zero, was revealed in season 4 to have survived his encounter with Brock.
Growing the Beard: Arguably season two had peach fuzz, season three had stubble, season four is when the beard really came in.
You can even see the beard starting to come in at the end of season 1, particularly with the episodes The Trial of the Monarch and Return to Spider-Skull Island. It was with these that the show began its move away from "Jonny Quest Parody" to something deeper. Come season 2, the move was in full swing.
Genius Bonus: After hired killer Le Tueur is killed by Brock with his own sword, Brock asks the boys to call the cleaner and tell them "they have a Damian Hurst" on their hands. Damian Hurst is a well known conceptual artist who frequently uses large amounts of splattered animal blood on his art pieces.
Dr. Orpheus being mistaken for a "Dracula" is even funnier after Hotel Transylvania was released, centering around the actual Dracula as a Large Ham single dad protecting his Perky Goth short-haired daughter from her dorky love interest. It even earned the nickname "Dr. Orpheus: The Movie" from some fans.
Fans had been crossing over Team Fortress 2 with Venture Bros. for a couple of years due to their similar art style and humor. Now there's VB Cosplay items in TF2, and an ad for the game even ran at the end of S 5 E 1. Perhaps as a coincidence, that episode revealed that Sgt. Hatred's real name is Courtney, while TF2's resident Drill Sergeant Nasty also has a feminine name: Jane.
God knows what The Monarch would be capable of if he weren't so hung up on tormenting Rusty Venture. The Monarch absolutely demolished every other Science Hero the Guild put him up against until he went in over his head against Jonas, Jr. - and when outmatched, he managed to pull a Batman Gambit to get what he wanted. His goals may be small (he says that he's leaving world domination to "the religious nuts and the Republicans"), but nothing will stop him from pursuing them.
Misaimed Fandom: The Monarch and Doctor Girlfriend; though they are supposed to be the bad guys, fans have taken to them in spite of their villainous nature (or because they are nowhere near as bad as Rusty can be in the jerkass department.)
Many of Dr. Venture's actions are examples of the sort that would normally qualify him for crossing it. He's the star of a Black Comedy, however, so it's more funny than repulsive thanks to much Refuge in Audacity.
Rusty, in the first episode, removes a dog's skin (his own dog no less) because a makeup company wanted to find a new way to test makeup on animals. To be fair, it was to prevent the dog from dying, but that's still pretty horrible.
It's pretty much telegraphed that Tim-Tom and Kevin killed 24.
Limb releases The Monarch's prison mates just so that he can hunt them down like animals.
Molotov Cocktease crosses this twice: first at the end of season three, where she puts a bounty out on Brock Samson's head and tricks him into thinking OSI was the one responsible. Manipulating Brock just to further her career was more impressive than it was unforgivable... but in Operation P.R.O.M., she went and not only chose someone else (Monstroso) over Brock after long acknowledging his affections for her, but was also willing to die with him. Then, just as a final "screw you" to Brock, she told him if she were to die, the Blackhearts were ordered to kill all of Brock's friends. They only survived because Dr. Venture used mutant Spanish Fly on them. Which turned them into mutant Spanish flies.
The senior Dr. Venture has done several things that may qualify.
His actions once caused a group of orphaned children to wander below his home for over 20 years. One wonders if this is probably worse that his son's machine that was powered by the heart of an orphan.
On a more intimate level: acting as Rusty's therapist so that he could belittle his own son and tell him how ungrateful he was for not enjoying a life of constant danger, kidnapping, and isolation from his peers. If you didn't already think he was worse than Rusty, this about clinches it.
Creating an AI with full access to a nuclear silo was a pretty idiotic move to begin with. Not to mention he trapped the miniscule Dr Entmann in her control room for decades as well.
Dr. Impossible using his ex-brother-in-law, The Human Torch a failed experiment who is constantly on fire (and screaming in pain) when awake as a green energy source to power his skyscraper. It says something about him when he thinks being green makes it morally acceptable. The Phantom Limb says it's basically the most deliciously evil thing he's ever seen.
Monarch's had several, but they usually don't take with fans. Most notably, his forcing a prostitute to run a dangerous gauntlet inside the cocoon after they have sex was supposed to be one, but the sequence's Red Dragon homage and Monarch revealing that he stole the polar bear from Lost to serve as a guard-bear, made fans laugh at it instead.
The floating head that leads the Guild of Calamitous Intent. It's like some weird live action/CG/animation hybrid that doesn't quite move like it should, and it's unsettling as hell, even if what he's saying is hilarious.
Reverse Funny Aneurysm: Doctor Venture taking his sons' kidneys in the first episode was played for Black Comedy. However, the beginning of the second season revealed that they are replaced with clones on a semi-regular basis, so it wasn't quite as horrible as it first seemed. Of course, the reveal is worse than the incident from the first episode.
Shocking Swerve: Hank and Dean getting shot down in the season 1 finale. A literal one is Rusty getting crushed by a giant disco ball in the penultimate episode of season 5.
One of the deleted scenes in the second season is a fully-animated sequence of Orpheus's master having sex as Catherine the Great's horse and giving Orpheus direction and advice in between grunts as he nears climax. It's pretty easy to see how even [adult swim] wouldn't let that fly.
The real story behind Dermott's birth. Dermott's true origin. Rusty had sex with the 15 year old head of his fanclub and was forced into giving the family money and staying away. The girl's mother then raised Dermott as her own son and passed his real mom off as his sister and Brock as his dad. And Hank found all of this out AFTER sleeping with Dermott's real mom. You can't really blame Hank for throwing up after that.
Or intentionally getting a memory wipe.
It gets even worse as the situation plays out in reverse years later, with now adult Nicki sleeping with the underage Hank. Due to the Double Standard everyone treats Hank like this is some major accomplishment but it's still statutory rape.
A quick scene in Season 5 shows that she is still trying to make a go at Hank.
Dermott's thought that Triana will "cream herself". Oh and the fact he was shirtless during part of Operation P.R.O.M.
Myra implying that she breastfeeds her own cats and almost breastfeeding her own 16 year old "sons".
Post-Op Colonel Gathers' encounter with Brock at a strip club.
Basically any dialogue from Sgt. Hatred involving young boys.
Any of the descriptions of the sex act known as a "Rusty Venture."
Accordingly to Shore Leave, a Rusty Venture is where two men 69 each other to the point of climax and then spin around, and cum in each other's mouths. Which is shot down by The Alchemist as a Snake Venom.
According to The Alchemist, a Rusty Venture is a finger-rimjob on a man while jacking him off into your mouth. Currently not debunked.
According to Colonel Gentleman and Tennesee Williams (aprocryphal), a Rusty Venture is where you take an old-school scuba tank and gear, shove one end of the tube up your ass, and squeeze the other over your dick, then work the pump on your dick and ass simultaneously until you cum. Debunked by Shore Leave as a "Double Frogman."
According to Watch of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a Rusty Venture is where you reach up someone's ass with your your fist. That's the 'Rusty.' The Venture part is where you grab whatever you can and pull out. Debunked by Ward.
According to Ward of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a Rusty Venture is specifically a straight move: where you take a woman out to dinner, get her to eat as much as she can, then don't let her shit, then have anal then pull out and blow shit/cum all over her back. And that is a Rusty. The Venture is where you eat it all off her back. Not currently debunked.
According "in universe" to www.urbandictionary.com, Triana Orpheus, and Dean's reaction afterward, a Rusty Venture is something involving feces and a handjob, among other things then when one person finds the turkey-baster, you eat your way out of the tub.
Officially defined by murderist extraordinaire and ladies' man, Brock Samson, as jerking off as hard as possible until your dick is all red and raw Because Brock knows this. (SPHINX HAS NO SECRETS!) And he knows Rusty.
Suspiciously Similar Song: In "Perchance to Dean", Rusty introduces Dean to progressive rock. The music very clearly pastiches Yes' songs "Close to the Edge" and "Roundabout", even though the band's identity is only hinted at in dialogue. The sleeve of the record Rusty puts on looks more like an Asia album, while Yes' album Fragile can be clearly seen in the record crate (along with King Crimson's debut.)
Take That, Scrappy!: The Monarch delivers a rather chilling low-key one to the Murderous Moppets. He tells them in no uncertain terms that if they ever defy his command he will kill them and feed them to dogs.
St.Cloud not being let in the nightclub for supervillians in "Bot Seeks Bot" for no real reason.
21's revelation during "Operation P.R.O.M". After being called out by 24's ghost for not caring about him anymore, 21 meekly admits that although he loves 24, he has to let him go. Orpheus joins the conversation, but can't see 24, even though he can communicate with the dead. 21 tells Orpheus that 24's ghost is with them right now and he has his friend "Mr. Wendall", from the Arrested Development video, with him. Orpheus corrects 21, saying that the man he is thinking of is Baba Oje, who is not dead, and that Mr. Wendall was just the title of one of the band's songs. When 21 looks to 24 to see if this is true, 24 is gone. 21 cries when he realizes this means 24 was never a ghost and his best friend really is gone.
The truth of Dermott's father; It turns out that Dr. Venture unknowingly impregnated 15-year old Nikki Fitchell, the actual mother of Dermott who she raised to think of him as a sister and his grandmother as his mother. The sheer raw emotion and overall uncomfort of it all really makes one tear up.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Grand Galactic Inquisitor gets axed after one episode, despite being one of the funniest characters yet. Similarly the G.I. Joe parody characters (Sphinx Commander and his gang and the unique OSI operatives seen in "O.S.I. Love You") get barely any screen time and mostly serve as Canon Fodder.
"The Lepidopterists" episode. Imagine: a season-long arc of the Monarch arching Dr. Venture, Jr. with many adventures in-between, and Dr. (Rusty) Venture playing second fiddle. This all culminates into the Batman Gambit of the Monarch finally getting his true arch back, like he did in that episode. So much potential.
"The Revenge Society", anyone? This episode features the return of Phantom Limb and David Bowie, a callback to "ORB", a Guild assault on the Venture compound with only Sgt. Hatred and Hank to defend it, and the revelation that Brian Eno, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper are members of The Guild of Calamitous Intent. And it all proceeds to add up to an episode where nothing happens for a good 2/3s of the ep, with little jokes in the interim, with an ending that comes out of nowhere. Definitely should be a record there for most plot wasted in a single episode.
To be fair, the show creators REALLY like to play with this trope. While there have been a few genuinely epic moments in the series, major plot points are just as likely to be resolved in mundane, boring, or off-screen ways. It all ties into the whole "failure" thing.
Dean's changes in season 5 had a lot of potential. But with his extreme lack of focus and more focus on Hank, only a few episodes touched on his new attitude.
Villain Decay: Richard Impossible in season three. This is probably intentional considering the breakup with his wife. Baron Ünderbheit and Phantom Limb were pretty damn scary, but both eventually succumbed to inevitable embarrassing failures endemic to the Venture universe.
What an Idiot: In "Hansome Ransom," the Monarch corners Captain Sunshine in Sunshine's own base, cooly informing him that he knows that Captain Sunshine's powers don't work at night. So what does he use to attack the solar powered superhero? A special ray gun built to emit sunbeams identical to the kind Captain Sunshine uses. Predictably, his attempt at sentencing Cap to Death by Irony just ends up repowering the superhero.
Then, there's Phantom Limb, Underbheit, and Dr Impossible's plan to capture Rusty in "Bright Lights, Dean City." They get Underbheit to dress up as a cabbie, in order to gas Rusty while he's in the cab by sealing the partition between the front and the back, and emitting knockout gas... with the emitter located in the front of the cab. Underbheit's first reaction to then sums up the situation pretty well: "Vhat ze hell vas that shit out zhere?!"
Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who knows he hasn't even come close to amounting to his father's success which was constantly beating him in the face as a child.
Jonas Venture Jr, who despite achieving more in about a month than his brother did in his entire life, never met his father and spent over forty years trapped inside Rusty's body.
The Monarch, who's parents died in a plane crash when he was a kid and he doesn't remember playing with Dr. Venture in his childhood, where they were apparently friends.
21/Gary, who witnessed his best friend die in an explosion, left the Monarch to work for SPHINX, only for them to leave him the following episode, and spent the next few episodes after SPHINX was blown up just prowling around the Venture Compound before finally crawling back to his old boss.
Dean Venture, who's girlfriend (kinda) dumped him right before he found out that he has died about fourteen times in the past and is only a copy of his true self.
Sgt. Hatred, who's wife left him before he went to work for Venture Industries, where the boys don't really respect him as they did their old bodyguard.